Meditation at work has started to be incorporated in several large organizations today, as it promotes a range of mental benefits, especially when practiced daily. Some of the organizations that have promoted meditation in the workplace include Apple, Nike, Google, Prentice Hall Publishing, AOL Time Warner, Yahoo, and HBO (OnlineMBA, 2012).
Here are 4 reasons to meditate in the workplace:
1: Improved concentration, cognition, and productivity
Mindfulness meditation (also known as insight meditation) is aimed at helping individuals to focus on the present moment. This type of meditation helps to build concentration and to accurately observe any given situation, thereby helping the individual to solve problems and improve task performance.
“Transcendental meditation has been shown to be significantly correlated with enhanced concept learning, creativity, fluid intelligence, moral reasoning, and decreased neuroticism, and increased neurological efficiency.”
– Schmidt-Wilk, Alexander, & Swanson (1996)
2: Reduces stress
Transcendental meditation has been distinguished as a stress management technique since it became popular for individual development in the 1970’s. Organizations have started incorporating this type of meditation because it is a technique that is fundamental to the development and understanding of one’s consciousness.
Statistic meta-analyses have found that transcendental meditation has been correlated with a significant decrease in anxiety, reduced substance abuse, greater self-actualization, and greater autonomic stability. Similar results have consistently been found in studies on meditation. Another study in Japan found that meditation decreases psychological distress, health complaints, smoking, and insomnia.
3: Increases spirituality
Spirituality is usually associated with religion, therefore a distinction must be formed, as the workplace is considered a secular environment. Spirituality in the workplace is defined as having kindness and tolerance towards others and being consciously mindful in the pursuit of meaningful work. Meditation in the workplace can increase the understanding of your contribution and meaning towards the work at hand.
Mindfulness meditation helps to build spirituality in the workplace because it helps individuals focus on the moment and to have awareness of cognitive processes that will enable full engagement in everyday experience. It also enables individuals to become aware of their role in the workplace, what they contribute, and how they affect others at work.
“Enabling the expression of human experiences at its deepest, most spiritual level may not only reduce stress, conflict, and absenteeism, but also enhance work performance, employee well-being and quality of life.”
– Petchsawanga & Duchon (2012)
4: Increases work satisfaction
According to Frew’s (1974) study, individuals who practice transcendental meditation reported higher job satisfaction, greater job stability, improved job performance, and better interpersonal relationships in comparison to non-meditating individuals. Hülsheger’s research found that mindfulness meditation decreases emotional exhaustion and increases job satisfaction. Similar research in meditation and job satisfaction has been continuously published.
The combination of decreased stress, improved cognition, and increased spirituality through meditation contributes to overall job satisfaction. Meditation, of all forms, can be beneficial to all aspects of life and can help to bring your life in an upward spiral. That is why many organizations today are incorporating meditation at work.
Stress at Work Guided Meditation
5 Books on meditation in the workplace
Alidina, S., & Adams, J. (2014). Mindfulness at Work for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.
David, D.S. (2015) Living Mindfully: At Home, at Work, and in the World.
Gelles, D. (2015). Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out.
Miller, J. P. (2013). The contemplative practitioner: Meditation in education and the Workplace. University of Toronto Press.
Salzberg, S. (2013). Real happiness at work: Meditations for accomplishment, achievement, and peace. Workman Publishing.
5 Apps to help you meditate
Calm – Check out their relaxed homepage. Calm is a simple mindfulness meditation app that brings clarity and peace of mind into your life. It’s free for iPhone and iPad.
Smiling Mind – Guided meditation made easy. This app is free for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Buddhify – The mindfulness app for modern life. It costs € 2,49 for Android & €4,99 for iphone.
Headspace – The most popular meditation app, offering guided meditations
Mindfulness Meditation – It’s all in the name. Freely available in the iTunes Store.
Want to explore further?
Check out our Positive Psychology in the Workplace page for more tips on workplace engagement, productivity, and happiness.
Frew, D. R. (1974). Transcendental Meditation and productivity. Academy of Management Journal, 17(2), 362-368.
Haratani, T., & Henmi, T. (1990 a). Effects of Transcendental Meditation on health behavior of industrial workers. Japanese Journal of Public Health,37(10), 729.
Haratani, T., & Hemmi, T. (1990 b). Effects of Transcendental Meditation on mental health of industrial workers. Japanese Journal of Industrial Health,32(7), 656.
Hülsheger, U. R., Alberts, H. J., Feinholdt, A., & Lang, J. W. (2013). Benefits of mindfulness at work: The role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(2), 310.
Petchsawang, P., & Duchon, D. (2012). Workplace spirituality, meditation, and work performance. Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 9(2), 189-208.
Schmidt-Wilk, J., Alexander, C. N., & Swanson, G. C. (1996). Developing consciousness in organizations: The transcendental meditation program in business. Journal of Business and Psychology, 10(4), 429-444.
Weick, K. E. and Putnam, T., 2006. Organizing for mindfulness: Eastern wisdom and Western knowledge. Journal of Management Inquiry, 15(3), 275-287.
10 Companies That Promote Employee Meditation | OnlineMBA. (2012, January 31). Retrieved here.